Teacher Guide To Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday that was first established to observe the birthday of this chief leader for peaceful activism. Martin Luther King Day is celebrated every year on January fifteenth. On this day people are reminded of the great legacy of civil rights Martin Luther King, Jr. set forth. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, people of all races joined together to take a stand against segregation, which is the division of public services based on the color of a person's skin. For example, schools were divided as ones for only white children and ones for only children who were African American.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an amazing man that had a dream that someday everyone, no matter of skin color or race, would be treated equally and with mutual respect. He was an activist in The African American Civil Rights Movement, and fought for what he believed in: an unprejudiced society. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April, 4th, 1968. He was 39 years old.
The life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. should be taught in all classrooms around the world. This Monday January 16th is a federal holiday in the honor of Dr. King's. We encourage you to discuss his story with your students. The only way we can avoid mistakes in our future is by learning from our past.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. He graduated from Morehouse College, and become a church pastor who spoke publicly against segregation of schools, restaurants, even buses because he believed that all people should be treated the same and given equal opportunities. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot to death in 1968 but his dream lived on. Before his death he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his world famous speech titled "I Have a Dream" that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, and was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
President Ronald Reagan signed the law for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to be a federal holiday in 1983, but it was not until 1986 that the holiday was first celebrated by the nation. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was made official in 2000 and became fully recognized as a public holiday. All government offices, workplaces and schools are closed to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and the fight for racial equality that began with the Civil Rights Movement. Because of his initial efforts and the continued struggle for justice, segregation no longer is legal.
Americans celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by having parades and reading his famous speech, "I Have a Dream," as they remember how once people in this free country were not free at all. People spend the day volunteering their time to help other people who are less fortunate, such as the homeless or poor, as they practice what Martin Luther King, Jr. preached. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that all people should be given equal opportunities no matter what their skin color, where they live, or how much money that they have to live their life to the fullest.
By sharing our time, love and knowledge to serve others, we are working to provide equal rights to every human being. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, people take the time to remember that one man lost his life as a sacrifice to the good will of others, and in hopes that one day there will be no such thing as racial discrimination or prejudice based on what one person looks like. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that everyone has the ability to be great servants to humanity if they are only given the chance to do so.
In Hiroshima, Japan, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated with equal importance as it is in the United States. The mayor of Hiroshima uses this holiday to call for peace with the message of human rights for everyone.
Related Teacher Resources That Are Worth A Look:
- Martin Luther King's Dream
- Martin's Cry
- Martin Luther King Jr. Themes in Your Classroom
- Martin Luther King Junior Lesson Plan Ideas
- Write Your Own "I Have a Dream"